AI-produced certainties in health care: current and future challenges

Tretter M, Ott T, Dabrock P (2023)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article, Original article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1007/s43681-023-00374-6

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Since uncertainty is a major challenge in medicine and bears the risk of causing incorrect diagnoses and harmful treatment, there are many efforts to tackle it. For some time, AI technologies have been increasingly implemented in medicine and used to reduce medical uncertainties. What initially seems desirable, however, poses challenges. We use a multimethod approach that combines philosophical inquiry, conceptual analysis, and ethical considerations to identify key challenges that arise when AI is used for medical certainty purposes. We identify several challenges. Where AI is used to reduce medical uncertainties, it is likely to result in (a) patients being stripped down to their measurable data points, and being made disambiguous. Additionally, the widespread use of AI technologies in health care bears the risk of (b) human physicians being pushed out of the medical decision-making process, and patient participation being more and more limited. Further, the successful use of AI requires extensive and invasive monitoring of patients, which raises (c) questions about surveillance as well as privacy and security issues. We outline these several challenges and show that they are immediate consequences of AI-driven security efforts. If not addressed, they could entail unfavorable consequences. We contend that diminishing medical uncertainties through AI involves a tradeoff. The advantages, including enhanced precision, personalization, and overall improvement in medicine, are accompanied by several novel challenges. This paper addresses them and gives suggestions about how to use AI for certainty purposes without causing harm to patients.

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Tretter, M., Ott, T., & Dabrock, P. (2023). AI-produced certainties in health care: current and future challenges. AI and Ethics.


Tretter, Max, Tabea Ott, and Peter Dabrock. "AI-produced certainties in health care: current and future challenges." AI and Ethics (2023).

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